– The Town of North Hempstead, in partnership with the Roslyn Landmark Society, will mark the historic return of the Mackay Horse Statue to the village of Roslyn where it first appeared 93 years ago at Harbor Hills, the Gold Coast era estate of Clarence and Katherine Duer Mackay.
The free event, dubbed StatueFEST, will be held Saturday, October 19th at 2:00pm at Gerry Park on Main Street in Roslyn. A rain date has been set for October 26th.
The horse tamer statue is one of the two that once stood on the 648-acre Harbor Hill mansion. The one being unveiled stood for years at the East Hills residence of Bruce and Melissa Shulman. When the Shulmans sold their property in 2010, they generously donated the statue to the Town of North Hempstead. The Roslyn Landmark Society pledged to supervise its renovation.
The Society’s Executive Director, Franklin Hill Perrell, will serve as Master-of-Ceremony. Featured speakers include: Town of North Hempstead Supervisor John Riordan, Town Clerk Leslie Gross, Councilwoman Anna Kaplan, County Legislator Wayne Wink, Michael Mackay (great-grandson of the Mackay’s), and Town of North Hempstead Historian and Landmark Trustee Howard Kroplick, who will be unveiling the historic statue.
The “horse-tamer” statue underwent a meticulous three-year restoration under the aegis of the Society and has been returned to its original grandeur. While maintaining the physical integrity of the original statue, the restoration includes a newly carved groomsmen’s head, creation of missing pieces and stabilization of the entire statue.
The historical significance dates back to the early 1900’s, when the mythic statue proudly stood in Harbor Hills’ west garden.
The Mackay statue was modeled after sculptures commissioned in 1739 by Louis XV for the France royal palace, Chateau de Marly. The statues were moved to the Champs-Elysees and after a restoration and are now on display at the Louvre in Paris.
Harbor Hill was demolished to make way for new homes, but the statue remained in its original position for nearly a century, in what eventually became the backyard of the Shulmans home.
The placing of the statue in Roslyn’s Gerry Park, in the shadow of Harbor Hill, is more than fitting. After all, Roger and Peggy Gerry, for who the park is named, founded the Roslyn Landmark Society in 1962.
The Mackay Horse as it is loaded onto a truck by North Shore Monuments workers before it is transported to Gerry Park.